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Monday 11th December
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Hi from the USA

Emails from MASSACHUSETTS

This year introductory emails arrived first from Hull in Massachusetts. "I live in Massachusetts. Our capital city is Boston" .... "My town is on a peninsula. My house overlooks the bay and it is full of boats all summer. My brother works on a lobster boat for my uncle."

Emails from TEXAS

The emails from Texas were soon to follow. All the pupils wanted to know about the partners. They asked questions about family members, pets, music and sport. Andres from Dallas wrote "I have two lizards they're both called Spiky, one of them is related to the Komodo dragon".

Extract from email from NEBRASKA

tornado from Mr Henderson There are lots of farms throughout Nebraska. Our state's nickname is the Cornhusker State because we grow a lot of corn. Our summers are very hot and humid and our winters are very cold. We can have tornadoes in the Spring and Fall. We like to play sports, play games in our room, go swimming, and lots of other things.


Extracts from emails from INDIANA

A family from Indiana run a homeschool. There are four children in the school between the ages of eight and fourteen. They have written to the students to tell them about the USA.

"You asked what our country is like. That question could take a very long time to answer because America is so different in different areas, but I can do my best answer any questions you have about America. Here in America we are divided into states, kind of like small countries that have their own laws and yet all fifty states have certain guidelines in which they must go by to make their laws so that no law goes against the Constitution of the United States. The Constitution was written over 200 years ago by men who founded our country and wanted to make sure that laws would be fair and treat men equal if they lived in the United States."

"We could tell you about Indiana ... As you know, America is divided into fifty states ... Each state has a governor, like a president over the state. Our governor was Frank O' Bannon, but just a week ago, he became ill with a stroke and died. He was our governor for 7 years, no one can be governor for more than 8 years. Now, another man will step into his place until next year. Then everyone will vote for our Governor."

"We live in the state of Indiana, which is in the middle of the United States. Here our weather has what is called four seasons ... We have snow and ice in the winter, lots of rain and flowers growing in the spring, summer is often hot with periods of bad storms and even tornados once in a great while, and fall brings color changes to the green leaves on trees ... the leaves look beautiful because for a few weeks, they turn gold, orange, red, and brown ... then they fall on the ground and make a crunching sound! Other places in America have lots more snow and rain, other places have no snow at all and lots of heat year round. It depends on what area or state you live in. Some states have lot's of mountains, some have hills, and some have deserts, others have mostly flat land with fields. Right now, it is just the beginning of fall here in Indiana, so the weather is just a little cool, but not too hot either. In a couple of weeks, the leaves will change color and it will be very pretty!"

a large rock -one of the places that we like to visit"We have quite a few holidays, the most well known are Christmas - the celebration of Christ's birth, Thanksgiving - a celebration of what we are thankful for, Fourth of July - the celebration of America's freedom from Britain's ruling, Easter - a celebration of Christ dying on the cross and arising from the dead, and Memorial day - remembering those who died. Just a few of the holidays, but we have a lot of others too!"

The family wrote to the children about their Thanksgiving celebration when they eat turkey, mashed potatoes with gravy and rolls (they also have "jello salads, bread, noodles, and lots of other things that are delicious to eat"). "Pumpkin pie is also popular this time of year too". ... "just a few of the things we eat a lot of are beef stew - it has pieces of beef, lots of vegetables, and a broth that tastes very good with the right seasoning! We also like a blooming onion which is a very large onion that is dipped in a special batter and deep fried with a spicy sauce." Other favourite foods are pizza, chicken nuggets, cheeseburgers, french fries, tacos and burritos (a mexican food that is a flour tortilla wrapped around refried beans with cheese and hot sauce). One of our favorite meals is fried chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy and corn. .... " The only fruit trees that grow here are pear, apple, cherry, and a few others. Lemons and oranges can't grow here because the weather gets cold and snowy in the winter."

"In our homeschool, we study subjects like math, reading, writing, science, history, and we have piano lessons, and we go to see the elderly at the nursing homes and sing and play songs for them. ... We like some sports too, like basketball, and swimming, and we like to watch ice skaters on t.v. (Here in America, baseball, basketball, and football are the top sports)."

In their spare time the children go to the library to get new videos and books and computer games. "We also play nintendo games with our older cousin and go camping ... We love to go camping with our big dog, Buck. He chases the animals away from our tent area. We are sending you a picture."

"Thank you for the beautiful pictures of your country and some of the places you like to visit. It was so interesting! As a family, we have been to many parks and this past summer we saw the beach and the ocean in the state of Florida. It was so nice and warm there! We got to watch pelicans swoop from the sky and catch their meals! We saw sea turtles at night come out and dig a very deep nest in the sand and lay many, many eggs. Our favorite places to go are places that have lots of trails for us to explore, like woods with lots of trees, and we also like going and looking in caves. We went to one once that was called Mammoth Cave and it is very, very large and goes on for miles underground. This park has lots of fun trails to walk and a beautiful spring that has very cold water!!

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